Philippines: 2 dead, dozens hospitalized due to red tide poisoning in Region 8

GMA News 25 Dec 16;

Two people have been reported killed while 38 others were hospitalized in separate red tide poisoning incidents in Eastern Visayas, a report said Sunday.

Citing information from Department of Health-Region 8, GMA News reported that one of the fatalities was an 81-year-old man who ate the shellfish he bought from Carigara, Leyte last Thursday. The other was a nine-year-old girl from Barangay Tucdao in Kawayan town, who was declared dead upon arrival at the Biliran Provincial Hospital.

Four other people from Kawayan town had been taken to the hospital due to red tide poisoning.

On December 22, shellfish tainted with red tide toxin downed six people from Barangay Balaguid in Cabucgayan town. One of the victims is still recuperating in a hospital.

On December 23, 30 people in the town of Maripipi, also in Biliran, fell victim to red tide poisoning, the report said.

Two of the victims are still under observation at the rural health unit in Maripipi, one was taken to the Biliran Provincial Hospital, and another one was sent to the Tacloban Hospital. The remaining 26 have been discharged.

Boyd Cerro, chief of the DOH regional epidemiology unit in Eastern Visayas, told GMA News that most of the victims had gotten ill after eating shellfish they found floating in the bay.

Cerro said the DOH will continue its monitoring for victims of red tide poisoning, which has no cure.

Also, he advised the public to immediately bring victims of red tide poisoning to the nearest hospital to get additional IV fluids, IV Cannula, and Macrosets.

The DOH reminds the public to refrain from eating shellfish in the areas declared red tide infested.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has a standing red tide warning in the Biliran Bay, Maqueda Bay in Catbalogan, Samar and Carigara Bay in Leyte. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/LBG, GMA News

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